“After another great season where we had the best record in the league and made the playoffs for the fourth-straight season, I am very excited to return in 2017. Somerset has truly become my home and there’s nowhere else I’d want to be right now,” Hunton said.
Hunton’s 37 saves led the league during the 2016 season and helped him shatter the Atlantic League career saves record. He broke the record held by Southern Maryland’s Jim Ed Warden on May 10th and added to the mark to finish with 165 saves going into 2017.
The two-time Atlantic League All-Star (2013, 2016) has now saved 30 or more games in each of his last four seasons in Somerset.
“I’ve always looked at saves and records for them as a true reflection of team success,” said Hunton. “They might go under my name in the record books, but they always represent the Patriots players and coaches that put me in the position to achieve these milestones.”
Hunton enters his sixth season with the Patriots, and fourth as the Director of Player Personnel. Three years ago, Hunton became the first player in professional baseball to hold the title of Director of Player Personnel while still playing.
“Since the last out of the 2016 season, I’ve been looking forward to putting together a team that will go to work each day and represent the Somerset Patriots organization and its tradition of excellence. I think fans will be really excited about how the team is starting to take form with a nice mix of returning stars and new faces,” Hunton added.
The 6’9” closer finished second in the Atlantic League in saves in 2015 with 32. He also carried a 3.09 ERA over his 50 appearances on the year.
Hunton broke the Atlantic League record for saves in a single-season with 49 in 2014. He finished that season as the Atlantic League’s “Closer of the Year” for a performance that also included a 2.08 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 56.1 innings pitched over 59 games.
The North Plainfield, New Jersey native has experience in the Chicago Cubs and Oakland A’s organizations, including a season at both the Double-A and Triple-A level.
Hunton joined Somerset late during the team’s championship run in 2008 and appeared in eight games. After his time with the Patriots, Hunton signed with the A’s, where he spent the next two seasons.
Hunton has 274 career saves over a 13-year career that’s taken him all over the United States and around the world.
The Somerset Patriots led the Atlantic League in total attendance in 2016, finished with the best regular season record in the league and made their fourth straight trip to the playoffs. The schedule for the 2017 season, which includes the team’s 20th Anniversary and the 2017 Atlantic League All-Star Game at TD Bank Ballpark, has been released. Single game tickets go on sale on Tuesday, January 17th. For more information, stop by TD Bank Ballpark, call (908) 252-0700, or visit www.somersetpatriots.com.
About The Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 36 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 800 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment to metropolitan markets serving nearly 15% of the US population.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.